I have been watching some of the documentaries on Jeffrey Epstein. As I watch, I feel nauseous. Not just because of the horrors this man and his girlfriend inflicted on countless girls. But also, because listening to these women tell their stories – their lives growing up were so similar to mine.
How do predators know? How are they so able to spot the girls that are susceptible to being assaulted and abused and not telling anyone? It’s like they have a finely tuned radar. They know all the “right” questions to ask and signs to look for.
One of the women being interviewed said something that really resonated with me. She said that when you are raised in an abusive environment, there is no one to teach you how to say no or how to get out of a dangerous situation.
And it’s true. You live in an environment where you are conditioned to take the abuse and suffer in silence. You are repeatedly told that no one will believe you. You are told that something even worse will happen to you if you tell. I was told I would be taken away and forced to live with strangers. There is no one to teach you about healthy boundaries or the difference between healthy and toxic relationships. Your “normal” is toxic and dangerous.
Somehow, predators are able to identify this in their victims. And if you are watching these shows and asking yourself, how does this happen? Why do these girls go back after being assaulted? Or worse, you blame the victims for going back.
Pause for just a minute and try to view the world through the eyes of a young girl that has never had the opportunity to live in a healthy and safe home environment. Understand that Jeffrey Epstein was treating these girls the same way they had been treated most of their lives. It’s heartbreaking.
So yes, I feel nauseous watching. I know that very little separates me from these other women. Possibly only one or two decisions could have made the difference. I honestly don’t know. One of the most common questions I get is, how did you turn out ok? Stubbornness, the desire to go to college, faith, or simple genetic luck? Emotionally, I have put a lot of work into myself and will continue to do so. I hope the women that survived Epstein are doing the same. I applaud their courage in breaking their silence. And I pray for those that are still suffering in silence to find their way out.